Other Amps

6V6 tubes - what brands to buy?

1

I need to get a new set of 6V6 tubes for a 5e3 style circuit amp I've got.

What tubes are worth buying these days? As I understand it there's not much point in going NOS anymore.

2

I love the JJ 6V6S, though I've generally used them to tame 6L6 amps. They're bulletproof. Never used them in a 5E3...

3

You can get nice NOS pairs for $60 to 80 still, so I'd still go that route. The JJ's are almost a 6L6 type, and sound different than an old 6V6. The TAD and Tung Sol are nice, but almost the cost of NOS.

4

Beware of Electro Harmonix after 12/2014 and TungSol. Even if both are sweet sounding they won't stand the power of high biased amps, they're red plating. The JJ 6V6 (in combination with a 5Y3 sounds cool) and the TAD 6V6 are a safe bet.

5

JJs and TungSol are my preferences. I'm also happy with Mesa Boogie's

6

Plenty of reason to try NOS. I've done lots of tube swapping in a variety of 6v6 amps. With only one exception, NOS wins, and not by a little. Which pair sounds best in a given amp is always a crapshoot.

Your mileage may vary of course. MD

8

I put JJS's in my 15 watt Super champ XD and a bigger output transformer. Boosts the volume considerably. If your amp is too bright put a bass speaker in it.

9

They made a zillion 6V6 tubes back in the day. Virtually every car radio and console hi-fi used them, and most applications didn't stress them very much. There's no reason to use anything other than old stock. RCA, GE, Sylvania, Tung-Sol. They all sound great.

10

Amen Kap'n. No shortage of old 6v6's. Just love me some clear GE's in a Fender Tweed.

11

I agree with everyone who is saying NOS. I've had excellent luck with Ratheon and RCA.

12

Ok cheers everyone, I'll still go NOS for my 6v6s.

13

I love the JJ 6V6S, though I've generally used them to tame 6L6 amps. They're bulletproof. Never used them in a 5E3...

– Otter
1 on the JJ's bullet proof indeed. I have bought several JJ tubes from Bob at Eurotubes each tube they sell is tested and guaranteed. I have never had a problem or dissapointment with JJ's. I have bought several tubes purported to be "NOS " some really were and some were not. Be careful with who you buy NOS from you can end up with "Nasty Old Stuff" :)
14

Where I live NOS is not such a great option. In fact I have never had any good NOS 6V6s - they're always awful. So I use JJ 6V6s, and they sure can take some punishment.

I have heard the 6L6 comment about JJ 6V6s before, but they sure sound different to me! If anything JJs 6V6s sound more like a smaller EL34 to me. I have used JJs in some Marshall style heads to bring the volume down a bit and they work fantastically well. I'm not a big fan of 6L6s in general - I seem to use JJ 6V6s or KT77s in all my amps.

15

Ok first you have to ask yourself what sound you are looking for.

TYPICALLY: The reason you use a 6V6 tube in a circuit instead of a 6L6 type tube is to get that mid hump which overdrives great. The whole magic of the 6V6 is that bit of overdrive hump. If you want a more mid scooped/bright clean sound...go with a 6L6.

That being said....my favorite tube that does "the 6V6 sound" is this little known version out of Italy called FIVRE tubes.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fiv...

They make a coke bottle version as well without the paper label. I was able to score them for $25 each one time (maybe around $30 each now depending on the exchange rate with England) so I loaded up and I'm set for life. I don't know if the Fivre factory is still making tubes or if these are vintage but these were great.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6V6...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/6V6...

16

I've always gone with old pairs of 6v6 JAN tubes in all of my Fender Amps JAN = Joint Army Navy, the tubes are built for endurance and longevity........Sylvania, Phillips, RCA, (they all made tubes for the US Military back in the day ) as long as they test strong you're good to go, and btw the same goes for 6L6's in my book Imho

17

i think most available tubes are worth trying,old or newm provided they test good and aren't microphonic. I will say that recently I've had 2 sets of JJs 6V6S go microphonic on me within about 6 months of occasional use. I've heard this from other folk and I've heard good things too about them too. I'm trying some electroharmix in another deluxe i built. They seem pretty good so far.

18

i think most available tubes are worth trying,old or new provided they test good and aren't microphonic. I will say that recently I've had 2 sets of JJs 6V6S go microphonic on me within about 6 months of occasional use. I've heard this from other folk and I've heard good things too about them too. I'm trying some electroharmix in another deluxe i built. They seem pretty good so far.


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